We all need Vitamin D in our lives–even a little time out in the sunshine gives us a dose of Vitamin D that helps us absorb calcium for stronger, healthier bones. Yet as vital as Vitamin D is to a healthy lifestyle (especially after this East Coast winter), repeated and unprotected exposure to the sun’s hot summer rays can cause damaging, long-term effects on our bodies. So how can you keep your family and yourself safe this summer while still enjoying the beautiful weather?
Here are a few tips from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and Parents.com
Beat the Heat
- Children under the age of 4 are at a greater risk for heat related illness during the summer months
- Make sure you are checking on them every so often. Take care not to leave them in a parked car by themselves, even if you have cracked a window, or think to yourself “I’ll be right back!”
- Dress your kids in loose, lightweight clothing
- If you’re at the park, have lunch or snack time in a shady spot where your kids can cool down and lower their body temperatures after playing in the sunshine.
Be Aware of the Signs of Heat Exhaustion
- Heavy sweating
- Cold, pale, clammy skin
- Too-fast or too-weak pulse
- Nausea or vomiting
- If your child is showing any of these signs, be sure to get them to a shaded area, apply cold compresses, and have them sip on water
Cover Up & Avoid the Burn
Serious sunburns early on in your children’s lives can result in an increased risk of skin cancer when they are older. Be sure to remind your kids to reapply throughout the day–every 2 hours is optimal. Look for sunscreens that contain UVA and UVB protection to ensure that they are getting the right coverage.
Keep the Fluids Flowing
- Children are much more prone to dehydration than adults because their bodies don’t cool down as efficiently
- Be sure to offer healthy beverages at every meal–snack time too!
- The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that, on an average day, children should drink six glasses of water
- Your kids may prefer Gatorade or Powerade, but remember that these drinks should be somewhat limited–they can be loaded with excess sugar, carbohydrates, and calories. When in doubt, turn to our favorite hydrator: WATER!
Photographs from google.com
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